Sued51's Blog

{November 30, 2017}   The Things We Do For Friends

This is a difficult time of year for some of us. I have trouble with the darkness but this is also my birthday season when I inevitably reevaluate where I am in life. I’m thinking next year I should spend more time here and less time on Facebook…and get back to writing. Of course that means I have to get to know my community all over again and make new friends.

This morning I was thinking back as I often do, about my longtime friend Jane; a time we never talk about when we went to the amusement park near us that no longer exists, though remnants are still there like the merry-go-round and this old teacup.

Amusement Park Teacup

The Last Teacup

Paragon (The things we do for our Friends)

Back then,
no brick apartment buildings
crowded the shore,
only the old roller coaster
towered over the beach.

We went there at dusk
with our boyfriends;
nips beforehand in the car
made us giddy.

I loved the rides
that sped in circles,
even the teacups,
where I muscled us around
pulling as hard as I could
on the metal wheel
in the center,
while you laughed
in the corner,
begging me to stop.
Afterwards you got sick
and I felt bad.

Bad enough to ride
the old wooden coaster
that I secretly feared.
We separated to sit with our dates.
The frame creaked and groaned
as we rose to the top.
The dark ocean stretched
into the sky, a beautiful view
for a moment,
but I squeezed my eyes shut
all the way down.


Susan Merrifield Desrocher

flashMy youngest brother swears my father had a “Flash”#1 comic book. He told me that in excellent condition it is worth over $100,000. “Then why aren’t we finding it right now?” I asked.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that my much-loved father was somewhat of a hoarder.  I wax non-grammatical and say “somewhat” because it was never as bad as on the “Hoarders” TV show (and I loved him too much to put that label on him), but believe me…there’s a LOT of stuff.  My brother believes that particular treasure is in the attic of our mother’s house, so yesterday we spent a couple of hours dragging out box after box looking for THE comic book.

The boxes that were regular books had to be moved out of the way. There were magazines in piles that also had to be moved aside. “I’m sure we’ll find it in the boxes at the end,” my brother said. AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL, I said to myself.

Thanks goodness the weather wasn’t hot, but I can’t say I could breathe very well with the dust, spider webs and mouse droppings. Insert nose and mouth into shirt collar. There was no guarantee that if we found it, it hadn’t been chewed to pieces. The boxes were heavy and I had to carry them in a bent-over position because the attic isn’t high enough to stand up straight. But…as there are a few of us that need the money, I quietly carried on with the end result in mind.

We finally reached the “mother load;” he let me know which boxes had comic books in them and I brought those downstairs. We finally began looking through them. My father loved the artwork on the “Conan” books and some other comics that aren’t very popular. He had many Disney ones and Archies; many of the comics were newer ones (from the 60s or 70s). But…there were some from the 30s and 40s mixed in: Rin Tin Tin and “War Heroes.” “They’re mixed up,” my brother said, “we have to look through all of them.”

So we did…and…WAIT FOR IT: it wasn’t there.

My brother found HIS “Spiderman” #1 and #2 that he thought my other brother had taken from him years ago. We also found my great-aunt’s clock during the clearing of the path, which my mother had been looking for, but no “Flash.” That doesn’t mean it isn’t in a shed, the basement, or who knows where else, but it wasn’t with most of the other comic books. If it is in a shed or the basement, there is even less chance it is a sale-able condition.

My brother went home with his “Spiderman” comics, and I went home tired, dirty and disappointed, but it had made me think (and given me this blog).

I don’t gamble, because I feel it is a waste of money. Yet I was willing to waste 6 hours that I could have used looking for a REAL job, on what is really just another get-rich-quick scheme. Hoarders always think they have something special and most of the time, they don’t.

BTW, my father did have “Batman” #1 and “Superman” #1 comics that he sold many years ago when he was out of work and needed to feed his family. They did come in handy, but they didn’t make him rich. Who knows, maybe he sold his “Flash” during some other tough time my brother doesn’t know about, maybe he didn’t. Maybe we’ll find it one day or maybe we won’t, but I’m not holding my now dusty breath.

{January 29, 2011}   Was that an Owl?

It was a dark October early evening when Jane picked me up in her pride-and-joy white camaro for our weeknight gym ritual. It was the ‘80s so we were dressed in our “Flashdance” gym outfits: torn paint-splattered sweatshirts and sweatpants, and of course the obligatory sweatbands around our heads.  We were on a small town winding road listening to music and yapping, when suddenly something big hit the windshield—little screams escaped from us both, “What was that?!”

Jane pulled over and we walked back to what we thought was the point of impact.  There in the dark sat an owl, looking at us with accusatory eyes, by a lump on the ground.

“Oh, God,” Jane wailed, “I hit an owl! What should we do?”

I tried to take charge, “I don’t think it is dead; why don’t we see if we can take it to the Natural Science center down the street.”

Jane squinted at me, “How do we do that? I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to pick it up. That other owl looks like it wants to kill me!”

I thought for a minute; I could see the lights of house down a nearby driveway. “Let’s go to that house and see if they have a shoebox or something to put it in and maybe some gloves to pick it up.”

We walked down the driveway to the house set back from the street and rang the doorbell.  A harried-looking woman answered the door.  She looked us up and down disapprovingly. “Yes,” she questioned us impatiently.  Jane and I looked at each other: you—no you.

“We just hit an owl,” I blurted out.  She looked at me with squinty, suspicious eyes, so I continued, “Do you have a shoebox so we can take it to the science center?” She said nothing and continued to look at me; I started to realize how strange it sounded.  We continued to look at her with concerned innocent eyes.  She finally decided to give us the benefit of the doubt, “Just wait a minute…I’ll get a flashlight and a box.”

Jane and I started to doubt ourselves.  “This is pretty weird, isn’t it?” Jane whispered.  I gave her a sideways glance as the woman returned and then turned to a curious child behind her, “You stay here; I’ll be right back.”

As we walked down the driveway I started to feel unsure and nervous.  I have never liked people walking behind me, but somehow I also had a bad feeling. “It was down here,” Jane said, leading the way.  We were taking the woman farther away from her home. “Wasn’t it?” Jane muttered to me.  We kept walking…there was nothing there. “It was right here,” I impassioned.  I turned to look at the woman.  She pursed her lips; she looked white-hot angry.  She didn’t say another word; she took her flashlight and her box and stomped back to her house.

“But it was here…” Jane whined.

“Must have been stunned,” I mused.  I suddenly thought that if we could have read the woman’s mind, she would have been assuming we were pranksters or worse, and swearing all the way back down her driveway.  If this were a comic, I could see the cartoon bubble full of symbols.  We looked at each other and started laughing, “I can’t believe it,” I said.

Jane must have had the same picture in her mind because she began to laugh even harder.  Laughter can be contagious and dibilitating; it was difficult to walk back to the car.

“What must she think?!” I blurted.  I suddenly saw us as the woman must have seen us — teenagers dressed in ripped clothes trying to get her out of her house…so our delinquent boyfriends, hidden in the woods, could rob her.  We laughed all the way to the gym…that could only happen to us.

et cetera
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